Driving A Classic Car In Winter
December 17th 2021
As the winter nights draw in and the temperatures drop, we find ourselves dedicating time and energy into preparing for celebrations with friends and family to brighten these chilly times. It's important the same consideration is given to preparing your classic Jaguar E-type for some winter driving. While it’s ingrained into most classic car owners to avoid Winter weather conditions, classic cars benefit from regularly driving. As leading jaguar restorers in the uk, we’re here to offer a handy guide and checklist to prepare your classic car for the winter months, should you not be ready to hang up those keys up just yet.
GET IT SERVICED
An important task to tick off for all classic car owners before storing or driving vehicles this Winter, is servicing. The benefit of having a specialist cast an eye over your classic E-type Jaguar is reassurance you're in good stead. A common health check offers inspection across a range of areas from oil, coolant, tyres, brakes, general running and more. Your chosen specialist is best positioned to identify and resolve possible problems from developing across the Winter months, meaning your E-type is always ready to go.
A QUICK ONCE OVER
Following a clean bill of health for your classic, it is always advised to undertake a pre-drive inspection, no matter what the season. Begin with the exterior, is all the brightwork secure? Do all the tyres look sufficiently inflated? Are all your lights and bulbs functioning correctly?
With the above checked it’s time to inspect the engine bay. Are your oil, coolant, and brake fluids levels at their factory recommended level? Do you notice any new leaks or drips? Ensure visually you can not see any loose connections, i.e ignition leads and battery terminals.
With this basic check complete, you can drive in ease knowing all appears to be in safe and working condition for not only you but other road users.
Should you be lucky enough to find a glorious day to pull your E-type out of the garage across the Winter period, then it’s important to take the time to allow your E-type to fully warm up. Allowing your vehicle to first get to temperature avoids overexerting the engine. A warm engine ensures better oil circulation and allows excess cold air condensation is burn off. While leaving a E-type to idle is a good start, unfortunately, this doesn’t quite cut it. Better known as a “slow warmth” start, it is recommended to begin trips at slower and consistent speeds. This type of start ensures the engine is running smoothly and is correctly clearing out any remaining sludge they can be built up, a result of quick starts and short trips.
A good indication your car is ready for a full pedal to the metal blast is the time your heater is beginning to breathe warmth into your cabin, this commonly can take approx. 20 minutes.
THE POST DRIVE CLEAN
While the goal for Winter driving is finding the driest days to go cruising, you can’t guarantee conditions, therefore, a good post-drive regiment goes a long way. There is no reason to risk exposing your classic to long term corrosion from salted roads and persistent puddles, it’s important to set aside some time after a Winter drive to sufficiently rinse the dirt away. A bucket or two of soapy water and clean mitt will allow you to wipe away any corrosive containments from body work and wheel arches. Followed by a rinse from a hose or jet wash, it is also important to not neglect the underneath of the car, a powerful spray to these area with clean water will help to dislodge and free materials that can lead to corrosion.
We hope you've found our collection of recommendations useful, giving you confidence in all your potential outings throughout the festive season. However, if you find yourself still requiring further assistance in Winter classic car ownership, we're on hand to answer any questions you may have, so please don't hesitate to ask - we'd love to hear from you!